Manitoba Infrastructure and Trade has committed to reviewing the construction season’s experience with the highways capital tendering program, to work out challenges, the MHCA Executive Committee heard at its meeting October 26.
“We are intent on seeing the tendering process push out tenders and awards earlier, well before construction season begins,” MHCA President Chris Lorenc said. “We are also seeking a project delivery optimization working group – working with MTI and the engineering consulting community to organize not just the tendering process but some elements of contract language to reduce risk on contractors and, thereby, improve the pricing of bids to the benefit of the province and the program overall.”
The request to MTI was among the top priorities discussed at the Executive Committee meeting. Other items included:
- CENTREPORT CANADA EXTENSION OF SERVICES: Manitoba will invest up to $40 million in servicing infrastructure to support the expansion and future development of CentrePort South. This provision of sewer & water will unlock up to $1 billion in private development on that footprint.
- NATIONAL TRADE GATEWAY & CORRIDOR INITIATIVE: there is good progress on the advocacy to significantly increase federal investment in Canada’s trade gateways and corridors, including in the West. There are now active discussions to press provincial premiers to support placing and supporting investment in trade gateways & corridors on the July 2023 agenda of the Council of the Federation, chaired currently by Manitoba Premier Heather Stefanson.
- MAYORAL FORUM: A sold-out crowd attended the Oct. 5, 2022 Mayoral Forum on Growing the Economy hosted by the MHCA and colleague associations including Manitoba Business Council, Merit Contractors Association, Winnipeg Construction Association, Manitoba Home Builders’ Association, Urban Development Institute, Manitoba Trucking Association, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters-MB and the Winnipeg Regional Real Estate Board. We plan to make a forum on growing the economy ‘our space’ going forward. In future civic elections – invite leading mayoral candidates; in future provincial elections – invite the party leaders.
- SPEC REVIEW COMMITTEE/RCAs: Discussions with the city continue, related to proposed changes to specifications, and to complete direction of City Council to accelerate the use of RCAs as road base materials. MHCA has proposed the hiring of a third-party to assist in that process.
- WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE (WDC) – IMMIGRATION ADVISORY COUNCIL (IAC): MHCA has sent a letter to Minister Jon Reyes and Dr. Lloyd Axworthy, Co-chairs of the Provincial Immigration Advisory Council recommending:
- Minimize processing duration to enable the Provincial Nominee Program to assist the timely sponsorship and arrival to Manitoba of immigrants possessing demonstrated skills in occupations identified as being in need by the private sector
- Eliminate the biased point selection, allowing equal priority consideration to each skilled trade or occupation identified by the marketplace as needed
- Request that identified heavy construction skilled occupations be recognized as in demand by the heavy construction industry
- SOCIAL PROCUREMENT (City of Winnipeg): MHCA is part of a stakeholder group that supports the view that for the City’s social procurement programs to be successful there must be coordination of education and training with employment prospects and that such an initiative requires provincial leadership. The group has asked the province to create a working group to recommend the evolution of education and training strategies to ensure successful laddering of equity group individuals to jobs and careers.